1. If you read yesterday's Traina Thoughts, you know the NFL's ratings for the 2020 season are down just 5% year over year.
Viewership has increased each week, but many people believe the ratings for this season have "tanked" because of some low numbers in Week 1.
I asked Sunday Night Football play-by-play man Al Michaels what he thinks of the narrative some people have put out there about the NFL being in trouble because of its ratings.
Michaels had some strong words.
"The biggest joke to me is when I look at some of these websites that deal with ratings and Hollywood and all his stuff. It's always like, 'Sunday Night Football ratings tank.' I'm going, 'EXCUSE ME?!' It's been No. 1 for 10 years in a row. You look at the Emmys—the Emmys—we beat the Emmys 3 to 1.
"I'm sorry, but there's a part of me that wants to go, 'Stop it already. What are you talking about?' Ratings tank because it's down to 19 million from 20 million?
"So when it comes to ratings that's my feeling and I'm sticking to it."
I mentioned to Michaels that while all of broadcast television is suffering from smaller viewership, cable news numbers are "through the roof" because of the pandemic and the election. Michaels wasn't having it, though, saying, "Our roof is way, way up here, their roof is way down there."
Other nuggets from Michaels during the podcast:
- He revealed he'll be calling the next eight games on Sunday night before Mike Tirico fills in again.
- He said he hasn't bet on a football game in 25 years, but "horse racing is a different story."
- He said he's never been scolded by the NFL or NBC for his gambling references, but "there will be a moan and a groan, maybe."
Michaels also told a great story about referencing the point spread in the 1994 Super Bowl between the Niners and Chargers, talked about what it's like to call games with no fans in the stands, reminisced about dropping "lest" and "farcical" during the infamous O.J. Simpson prank call and shared his thoughts on the "Collinsworth Slide."
2. LeBron James had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in the Lakers' Game 1 blowout of the Heat last night.
It was the 50th NBA Finals game of James's illustrious career. He's averaging 28.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists in those games.
And then there's this.
The greatness, though, carries over off the court as well. James, in the middle of this playoff run, started a "More Than a Vote" campaign, which has led to 10,000 people volunteering to be poll workers.
That's how you do it.
3. If you need a quick laugh today, just click on the tweet below and read the replies to Carlos Correa's "woe is us" act.
4. Sunday's Texans-Steelers game featured all three Watt brothers and they were mic'd up so we could eavesdrop on the hijinks.
T.J. Watt, who got the win over J.J. Watt in that game and was just named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month, is on the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated and the subject of a cool story on the art of the takeaway.
5. One of the few good things about Twitter is people pointing out how enjoyable it is to listen to Alex Rodriguez call baseball games on ESPN. Here's a sampling of some amusing tweets.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: The full trailer for Borat 2 is here and it's glorious and very, very, very, NSFW.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Jimmy Kimmel gave us a brand new edition of NBA Mean Tweets last night.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.